Nail fungus is ugly, and it can be difficult to get rid of. That’s why you need the advanced treatment options that Dr. Patrick D. Roberto offers his patients at Achilles Foot Care’s location, Delmont, Pennsylvania. While it’s tempting to opt for over-the-counter remedies, these products just aren’t strong enough to reach the deep tissue where fungus is rooted. That means the OTC remedies can’t destroy the fungus and provide long-term relief from symptoms. To learn more about the state-of-the-art nail fungus treatments available at Achilles Foot Care, schedule an evaluation today by calling the practice or through the online booking tool.
Tiny fungal bodies called dermatophytes cause toenail fungal infections. These infections develop when the dermatophytes enter the skin through a tiny opening — a blister, a small scrape or cut, or even an ingrown toenail. Once the dermatophytes are under your skin, they establish roots beneath the nail, which provides a hard protective barrier, making the infection especially difficult to treat.
Toenail fungus is very contagious, which means it’s very easy to pass the infection from one person to another. And that means you can get an infection by wearing shoes or socks of someone who’s infected or by using a towel they’ve used. You’re most likely, through, to contract infections by walking barefoot in damp, warm areas where the fungi are found, including public showers or locker rooms, or the decking surrounding pools and hot tubs. Skin that’s pliable from long periods of soaking is also more susceptible to infections.
Toenail fungus tends to have very few symptoms initially, but as the infection takes hold and the fungus grows under your nail, you might notice a small whitish or yellowish discoloration. Eventually, the discoloration spreads to the rest of the nail, and the edges of the nail appear ragged and brittle.
Fungal nails tend to become very thick, and your toe might feel sore when you press on it. Severe infections can cause a foul odor. Eventually, the nail can separate from the underlying skin. People with diabetes and circulation or immune-related problems are more likely to have severe fungal infections, but anyone can get these infections.
Toenail fungus can be difficult to treat. Over-the-counter products may relieve some of the superficial symptoms, but they’re not strong enough to reach the roots of the fungus and destroy them, and that means the infection can become worse. Dr. Roberto may treat toenail fungal infections successfully with medications, but usually, he must first remove the nail to enable the medication to reach the deeper layers of tissue.
Dr. Roberto removes the nail right in his office using a local anesthetic. He can also treat fungal infections with a cold laser which does not produce any damaging heat or any pain during the treatment. The cold laser transmits focused energy directly to the fungal roots without harming surrounding tissue. In some cases, Dr. Roberto may take a small scraping of the material under or around your nail before treatment to identify the fungus that’s present, but in most fungal infections, that’s not necessary.